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COURTS   OF   PARIS,   NAPLES,   ETC.                325

friend's house, on a large estate purchased by
a Frenchman; the mansion-house of mud walls,
thatched and divided into three rooms*

February zoth, 1803.

The dry weather has set in, and the climate is
charming. Light clear air and coolness morning
and evening, and pure sun in the middle of the
day; but the change is trying to many constitu-
tions. There are two men-of-war coming through
the Bocas, which are supposed to bring Commodore
Hood, the third rex Brentfordice—so we shall have
more firing and feasting.

Three days ago I rode up one of our largest
valleys to look at some estates on sale, and was
out all the morning, walking among canes, coffee
and cocoa trees, looking at the Spaniards fishing
in the river, and gathering flowers for my painting,
without feeling more inconvenience than on a fine
summer's morning in England. Every hour came
a small sprinkling from a mountain cloud, which
refreshed everything.

We then adjourned with a couple of friends
to my new stable at St. Juan, not yet inhabited